ERNEST HENRY SHORT (1875–1959)
A History Of Sculpture (1907)
"My justification for the title and, indeed, for the work as a whole, is that I have not attempted to write a new text-book. In my view, all great art is essentially national art. It can therefore only be understood in the light of national and international history. For this reason, I have given much more attention to the artistic interpretation of historical events and social circumstances than most historians of the arts have deemed necessary. Throughout I have written from the standpoint of one who believes that the great schools of sculpture were created, not by individuals of genius, but by the peoples to whom they appealed. A work written on these lines can fairly claim to be "A History of Sculpture."
This general scheme has entailed several consequences. I am conscious that I have dealt curtly with pre-Hellenic art particularly with that of the Mycenaean age. My reason is that ivory work and goldsmithery, by which Mycenaean art can best be illustrated, do not come within the scope of the book. References to such schools as the modern German and the American have been omitted in the belief that they would have added little to the strength of my main argument. For the same reason I have devoted comparatively little space to biographical details concerning individual artists even of the first class and have referred to only the most characteristic of their works." (Preface)
A History Of Religious Architecture (1951, 3d Edition)
"It will not be forgotten that, though this study is primarily historical, religious architecture is a craft, and many of its satisfactions arise from realising the logical precision with which craft problems have been solved. The passages upon the Doric style in Greece and upon Romanesque and Gothic architecture in England and France are important in this connection. In general, the purpose of this book is to trace the ages-long effort to enclose and cover a space which should enshrine the idea of Godhead, remembering that craft, communal enthusiasm, organisation, and spiritual symbolism, all have their part in making beautiful the House of God." (Introduction)
Suggest and discuss books to read (all languages welcome!)
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